NewsCrime Desk

Kinahan hit squad fail to kill Hutch relative

Jonathan and John Hutch
Jonathan and John Hutch

AN innocent member of the Hutch family escaped with his life in the latest botched hit in the Kinahan-Hutch feud.

Up to six shots were fired at the home of John Hutch - the brother of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch - in broad daylight last evening as children played nearby.

John Hutch's son, Jonathan, who is believed to have been in the house this week, survived a botched hit in Spain two weeks ago.

He told police in Majorca that he was the intended target of a gunman who shot dead innocent dad-of-three Trevor O'Neill on August 17 in Costa de la Calma, near Santa Ponsa.

John and Jonathan Hutch have no involvement in crime.

The latest attempt to kill one of The Monk's relatives resulted in no injuries.

A senior Kinahan associate was arrested nearby in relation to the incident.

At around 5.25pm, two gunmen opened fire in Drumalee Park, Dublin 7, but their target avoided injury and ran into the house.

The gunmen then escaped in a car that was found partly burnt-out near the scene. Two guns found in the car will be examined by gardai.

Gareth Hutch, the brother of Jonathan, was killed in a feud-related murdered last May 24.

His murder forced Jonathan Hutch to flee to Spain where he was recently lucky to escape with his life.

Following the shooting in Majorca that claimed the life of council worker Mr O'Neill, Mr Hutch returned to Ireland and has been lying low because of the continuing threat to his life.

It is understood that an unarmed garda was in the area when yesterday's shooting took place.

The targeted home is covered by CCTV cameras, which gardai will now examine as part of their investigations.

After yesterday's shooting, shocked locals told the Herald it was a "miracle" no one was hurt.

"Look around, there are kids everywhere. It's a miracle no one got injured. They were playing right there," said one shaken neighbour.

Another local person said they witnessed the gunmen as they sped off.

"The car they had broke down just up the road. It was an old banger. Not worth anything. They hopped out and jumped into another waiting further up," they said.

Local councillor Ciaran Cuff said: "It's appalling that we are seeing another shooting in the heart of the community where there were lots of children enjoying a late summer's afternoon."

During follow-up enquiries, gardai searched a van some distance from the shooting and detained the Kinahan gang member.

The criminal is well-known to detectives. He is a close associate of a number of the key leaders in the Kinahan gang, including 'Fat' Freddie Thompson.

His home in Kevin Street was raided by gardai as part of an investigation targeting the Kinahans.

He is regarded as a key figure in the section of the cartel operating mainly from around the south inner city and is also linked to other prominent criminals thought to have been heavily involved in importing major drug and gun shipments.

The man was also investigated by gardai in relation to the shooting of Martin 'The Viper' Foley at a gym in Kimmage in January 2008.

Yesterday's incident is the latest in a string of tit-for-tat murders that have shocked the city.

The feud was sparked when Gary Hutch, who had been working for the Kinahan cartel, was killed by the gang in Spain in September last year.

It has since emerged that a dispute over a missing €4m may have led to that killing.

A retaliation attack in February saw Kinahan associate David Byrne gunned down at a boxing weigh-in in February.

Since that killing, it is understood that the Kinahans have been targeting anyone related to the Hutch family simply because of their name.

Eddie Hutch, Gerry's older brother, was killed at his north inner city home in February.

More recently, the Herald revealed that Patrick 'Paddy' Hutch Sr, another brother of The Monk, was placed under 24-hour garda surveillance following two recent attempts on his life.

The shooting at the home of John Hutch comes as a new heavily armed garda unit to combat organised crime gangs involved in the Kinahan-Hutch feud will begin work next week.

The Armed Support Unit, which was announced following the weigh-in attack at the Regency Hotel in February, will begin work on Monday.

Seventy gardai of various ranks have been selected for the elite unit.